Lost In Translation: Court Translator Faces Possible 20-Year Sentence; Co-Defendant Gets 24 Years

Oct 16, 2006 1:05pm

A former translator for ABC News and Fox News faces a possible 20-year prison sentence today for his role in serving as the Arabic translator for a convicted terrorist. Mohammed Yousry, a U.S. citizen born in Egypt, was convicted of conspiring to help Omar Abdel Rahman, the so-called "blind sheikh," communicate with his followers in Egypt in violation of a set of prison rules imposed on Rahman’s lawyers. Prosecutors concluded Yousry was "not a terrorist. Not someone who supports or believes in the use of violence." THE BLOTTER RECOMMENDS Video Court Translator Says He’s Innocent Video Undercover Tape: Yousry and Stewart Meet with the Blind Sheikh Click Here for More of the Brian Ross Page But he was convicted by a federal jury last year, along with radical activist Lynne Stewart, after the two were caught on a hidden government camera relaying messages to the sheikh. Yousry says he was only following the directions of Stewart, who was his employer, and never signed the agreement specifying the special visitation rules. "I never told Omar Abdel Rahman anything that the lawyers didn’t say, and I never said anything to the lawyers that Abdel Rahman didn’t say," Yousry told ABC News in an interview to be broadcast this evening on ABC News Nightline. Stewart, the lawyer who faces a 30-year sentence, says the translator was wrongly brought into the case. "I’m innocent, but he’s 200 percent innocent. He really is roped into this by an over-reaching indictment," she told ABC News.    Yousry, a non-Muslim married to a born-again Christian, says the FBI offered him a chance to avoid indictment if he would wear a hidden microphone to gain evidence against Stewart and another lawyer, Ramsey Clark, the former United States Attorney General who also represented the blind sheikh. "I told them no," Yousry said. Another co-defendant in the case, Ahmed Sattar, was sentenced today to 24 years in prison for conspiracy to kill and kidnap people in a foreign country. Sattar was a follower of Sheikh Rahman who also worked as a paralegal for his defense. 

You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus